COLUMBUS – Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann, Duane Washington Jr., and Kyle Young met with the media immediately after No. 4 Ohio State’s 73-65 win at Maryland on Monday night.
Here’s a summary of what was said.
+ Maryland has done a lot of good things against quality opponents. They knew that coming in to the game. Ohio State has not won on the road there before and they had that in their minds too.
+ He was not pleased with early stretches but outside of that it was a quality performance.
+ On the depth of this team, Holtmann said that has been the hallmark of this team. They have multiple players who step up.
+ They played with more force and had better communication defensively at the end of the first half but Maryland also missed some shots that they usually would make.
+ On improving the 3 point shooting, Holtmann said he thought they did a better job but they took a few too many in the first half. But that’s what they have on the floor, players who shoot 3s.
+ “We have guys with high level confidence right now, shooting the ball and in general.”
+ On the technicals, Holtmann said Justin Ahrens said something to the Maryland bench, he admitted that. There was a reaction to a call on Maryland’s side he thinks but he tends to not ask if it is on the other team.
+ He did not think with they were playing with the amount of force and effort that they needed to early on. On the animation in the timeouts, Holtmann said his yelling wasn’t an emotional ploy, it was anger and venting. This group wanted to win and they responded.
+ “We have a mature team.”
+ He felt optimistic about the group but he admits there is some surprise. They gelled quicker and players emerged. “You just don’t know what a team’s collective spirit is going to be from year to year. We’re still writing our story so I’m hesitant to say too much.”
+ “How phenomenal was Kyle Young tonight?”
+ Defending Justin Ahrens requires constant awareness.
+ Kyle Young needed two full days off because his legs were too sore after Iowa. He was only able to go one day before they played.
+ “Ohio State winning, it matters to all of our guys.” But a fourth-year guy like Kyle Young, it really matters to him. He sets a great example for the other players.
Duane Washington Jr.
+ Washington Jr. opened up by saying that Kyle Young is shooting so well because he is passing to him in practice.
+ He knew they just had to keep their head down and keep grinding. They knew it was going to be a tough game. It started off slow, Coach yelled at them pretty tough, set them straight, and they got going.
+ Maryland is a really good team at home. Their memo coming into it this game was to be the aggressors, be confident, and speak to what they do.
+ His job is to keep bringing the energy.
+ He always had a feeling they would get back into it and get it done.
+ They take great pride in their abilities to be versatile. “It’s hard to guard us.” But they can’t take poor shots and balance that out for other teams. They are learning every day but shot selection is huge.
+ “Kyle Young is one of a kind. He’s the hardest working player I’ve ever played with. On and off the court he’s the sweetest dude.” Young has taught him so many things about working hard and trusting the process. He has been through a lot but his head is on straight. “He’s doing everything he can to help us.”
+ This team is really bought in. They are locked in and are trying to get better every day. They are doing a good job of working hard and trusting what they have going on.
+ Washington Jr. said they learned and improved every week. There wasn’t one single moment where things clicked. They just got better.
+ On coming out slower, Young said they needed to turn it around quickly and play with more toughness and once they did that, the game changed pretty quick. They came out with a lot more energy in the second half.
+ Early on he wasn’t playing as tough as he should have on the defensive end. He wanted to switch that up and was able to do that.
+ On a career-high 18 points, Young said he was letting the game come to him. “When you’re out there playing hard and you let things come to you, good things are going to happen.”
+ On doing what the team needs, Young said the coaches wanted him to be more of a presence and play with more force.
+ On shooting 3s, Young said he has been feeling good. He put in a lot of work in the off-season and it feels good to see them go in. If he gets more open looks he’s going to continue to take them.
+ Young said this stretch has been huge for him. He’s been through a lot in his four years, but being a part of Ohio State, he doesn’t take anything for granted. He goes into every game giving it everything he has.
[Photo via Ohio State Hoops Twitter.]